Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 6 June 2016

ABC plus Chelsea boys after dark ...

The title of this gay miscellany was going to be: "Where is my ABC book?" .... its a funny story: I was going through some old photos the other day and saw one of some books of mine at a previous address in Brighton (here in England), and it showed a little book from 1997 that amused me and my friends: "The ABC Book, a homoerotic primer" by Marcus Vellekoop. But where was it now? I had not seen it anywhere for ages or when I moved last month and could not find it. They were asking silly prices for it on Amazon (over £40!), then I found a reasonable priced copy on ebay and just as I completed my purchase my partner, who had been re-arranging his books in the spare bedroom, walked in holding my ABC Book in his hand, saying it had got packed in with his books! Luckily, as I had purchased the other copy within the hour, I got back to the seller asking him to cancel my order as I did not need two copies .... so I should hear about that today. If I have to keep the new one, I will send it to whoever asks for it first ....(Its ok, they have refunded.)

Here is the blurb for this delicious treat;
A is for Astronauts floating in space
B is for Bikers having a race
C is for Cowboys under western skies
D is for Dancers at their exercise
E is for Executives reaching their goals
F is for Firemen sliding down poles ...
Written and illustrated by award-winning artist Maurice Vellekoop, this delightfully naughty ABC book for adults is a celebration of gay male archetypes from Jailbirds to Opera Singers, Hairdressers to Truckers. Each letter of the alphabet provides the key to a hot and funny scenario of gay sex,. With erotic drawings reminiscent of a cross between Tintin and Tom of Finland, Vellekoop commemorates and honors these classic homoerotic fantasies with great humour and gaiety. A great gift, and a must for every gay household.
Right: Q is for Quarterbacks getting a spanking. 
My copy also included a few pages I had pulled from a magazine, featuring more Vellekoop wit: "Disco Inferno" imagining what the afterlife would be like for more gay types, based on Dante's Circles of Hell: Drama Queens are shuttled directly to Heaven, where nothing dramatic happens (they all play golf);  disco circuit boys are subjected to an enternal Liberace concert with no ecstasy in sight; closeted celebrities are trapped in a room with limitless supplies of unauthorised tell-alls and TV movies about them (we see Rock and Agnes Moorehead having to endure telemovies about them...) etc, At least my search for the book led me to more Vellekoop items: a book of "Pin-Ups", and "Vellevision". Can't wait to get them. His artwork and style grows on one.

Then there is The Chelsea Boys. We loved the cartoon strips in weekly papers and nice to see them in book form. Again, the blurb puts it perfectly:
Chelsea Boys is the first collection of Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth's popular syndicated comic strip that appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The strip follows the often outrageous antics, wild sexcapades, and everyday heartbreaks of three gay roommates who are as different as can be and living together in the heart of New York's trendy Chelsea neighborohood: cuddly Nathan, a short, neurotic, 40-something native New Yorker (who is nuts about Barbra Streisand - and she appears in the strip too); gorgeous, buff Sky, a naive yet deeply spiritual art student raised on a farming commune in Canada; and the fabulous drag diva Soiree, who masks his inner pain with a rapier wit and flamboyant style. Filled with humour, humanity, and wry observations on life in a modern setting, CHELSEA BOYS presents a family like you've never seen before and storytelling that speaks the truth while being outrageously funny. . 
I was a Chelsea Boy myself in 1972/73 - but in London not New York (but at least I got to mix with Joni Mitchell and Elton John, as per previous reports ...). 
We also found some AFTER DARK magazines - these are so '70s and early '80s now, but we liked them at the time, the hip New York slant on theatre and movies, with a very gay slant .... lots of pretty pictures too, but also some interesting interviews and features. I have found a few more on ebay - including one with some great pictures of Julie Harris and Geraldine Page together. Of course all that era is pre-Aids now, so it certainly ramps up the nostalgia factor ...


  1. When I was in Berlin I found the biggest gay supermarket I was ever in (about 20 times the size of Clonezone) and I was amazed at the number of gay graphic novels on display. I suppose there is a market for this sort of thing but it wouldn't really be my bag. By the way, have you ever seen the book THE QUEEN'S VERNACULAR, a gay lexicon published way way back? My copy is falling apart but I would love to get it again. Very entertaining.

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